DOT/CDL Physical Exam for drivers

The DOT/CDL physical exam will be required for drivers who:

  • Transport hazardous materials
  • Operate motor vehicles to carry more than 15 people
  • Have gross combination weight rate of over 10,000 pounds

The DOT/CDL medical test is valid for 24 months, but the driver with following medical conditions requires an annual DOT/CDL medical exam:

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular diseases

DOT/CDL physical test consists of:

     I. Health history

DOT/CDL physical test consists of health history of the driver. It includes the medicine you’ve taken in the past, surgeries in past, alcohol addiction, and existing health conditions.

    ii. Physical examination

The DOT/CDL physical exam considers the vision, blood pressure and medical history of drivers etc.

  • During the vision test, the doctor will test you for at least 20/40 vision for both eyes.
  • During the hearing test, ability of a driver to hear about whispering from less than five feet away is evaluated.
  • During the urinalysis, driver’s medical condition is determined and is mainly used for drug testing purposes.
  • During a pulse test, driver’s blood pressure is determined to ensure that the driver is healthy enough to sit for a longer period.
   iii. Appearance examination

During an appearance examination, DOT/CDL physical doctor examines appearance of drivers and consider following:

  • Neurological to examine reflexes
  • Skeletal to examine tenderness
  • Limbs to examine damage or weakness
  • Abdomen to explore the masses or cysts
  • Lungs to determine breathing rate
  • Mouth and throat to examine swallowing
  • General appearance including weight and tremors
   iv. Needed vaccinations

Your following vaccinations certificate are also needed to pass DOT/CDL medical exam, including

  • Hepatitis A & B
  • Polio
  • Typhoid
  • Influenza
  • Tetanus

Medical examiner

Medical examiners to perform DOT/CDL medical exams are listed in the FMCSA National Registry. Medical examiners can be of the following categories:

  • Medical doctor
  • Osteopathic doctor
  • Chiropractor
  • Physician assistant

Documents for DOT/CDL Physical Exam

Following documents are required by DOT/CDL physical doctor when you go for DOT/CDL physical exam:

  • Medical records
  • Recent laboratory results report
  • Your auditory or visual aids (hearing aids and glasses)
  • List of prescription medications with dosage, medicine name and timing

Preparation for DOT/CDL Physical Exam

Following precautionary measures should be taken strictly to prepare for the DOT/CDL medical exam:

  • Take your medicines regularly as prescribed
  • If your wear eyeglasses or hearing aid, update your prescription
  • Avoid drinking
  • Avoid food that increases blood pressure and glucose level
  • Regulate your weight by healthy diet and exercise

Hard to pass DOT/CDL Physical Exam

Passing the DOT/CDL physical exam is not difficult, but certain conditions can disqualify you, including

  • Poor vision
  • Narcolepsy
  • Poorly managed diabetes mellitus or heart disease
  • Epilepsy

DOT/CDL physical forms

Several physical forms are associated with the DOT/CDL medical exam, including

i. Medical examination report form

The medical examination report form contains the medical history of the driver and findings of the DOT/CDL medical doctor during the exam.

ii. Insulin-treated diabetes mellitus assessment

Commercial drivers suffering from diabetes mellitus will be required to fill out this form by their treating clinicians. Without this form, they won’t be able to get the license or medical examination certificate.

iii. Medical examiner’s certificate

The certified drivers will receive the medical examiner’s certificate but after passing the DOT exam.

If you want to become a commercial vehicle driver, then a DOT physical exam is mandatory. A certified medical examiner takes a DOT medical exam. The primary purpose of the DOT medical exam is to make sure that the driver’s health condition is satisfactory and drives a commercial vehicle. CDL physical exam is done every two years for most drivers, but the drivers who have diabetes or cardiovascular diseases are required to perform DOT physical exam annually.

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